Worldwide, food waste is one of the prime issues threatening food security and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception. With 427 kg of food wasted per capita per year, the country ranks among the top food wasters. Ironically, the Kingdom has limited arable lands and scarce water resources to support mass-scale agriculture and to feed its increasing population, KSA relies heavily on imports and subsidized food to meet needs. Yet, food is wasted at restaurants, caterers, cafeterias and, especially, by households such that food waste is the single-largest component of the landfills. The review article is based on the grey and scientific literature published in the English and Arabic languages on the issue of food waste in Saudi Arabia. Information sources like Web of knowledge, online resources and the databases available through the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia were accessed and used to collect information on food waste, its social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts and related topics. Since food items and groceries are abundantly available to all living in KSA and they are highly subsidized, the residents take food for granted. According to a recent survey, about 78% of food purchased in KSA is discarded each week in order to make room for new groceries. The factors responsible for food waste include: lack of awareness; and insufficient and inappropriate planning when shopping. Food waste in restaurants, celebrations, social events and occasions are enormous. Waste is common in festivals and special events where the customs is to provide more food than required. There is a need to change society’s food culture, particularly among the women and the youth, as they are largest segment of the society and the prime food wasters. The analysis of the factors responsible for food waste, identified in this article suggests a “Stop Wasting Food” campaign should be launched. It is also recommended to determine and activate the role of extension education to reduce food waste in the KSA through vibrant capacity building programs for youth and women, in particular, and society in general.
Genetic susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) has been linked to the HLA-DR15 haplotype consisting of DRB1*15:01(DR2b)- and DRB5*01:01(DR2a) alleles. Given almost complete linkage disequilibrium of the two alleles, recent studies have suggested differential roles in susceptibility (DR2b) or protection from MS (DR2a). Our objective was to assess the potential contribution of DR2a to disease etiology in MS using a humanized model of autoimmunity. To assess the potential contribution of DR2a to disease etiology, we created DR2a humanized transgenic (Tg) mice and subsequently crossed them to Tg mice expressing TL3A6, an MS patient-derived myelin basic protein (MBP)83-99 -specific T cell receptor (TCR). In TL3A6/DR2a Tg mice, CD4 Tg T cells escape thymic and peripheral deletion and initiate spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) at low rates depending on the level of DR2a expression. The ability to induce active EAE was also increased in animals expressing higher levels of DR2a. Inflammatory infiltrates and neuronal damage were present throughout the spinal cord consistent with a classical ascending EAE phenotype with minor involvement of the cerebellum, brainstem and peripheral nerve roots in spontaneous as well as actively induced disease. These studies emphasize the pathologic contribution of the DR2a allele to the development of autoimmunity when expressed as the sole MHC class II molecule, and strongly argue for DR2a as a contributor to CNS autoimmunity in MS.
PurposeInappropriate application of pesticides is quite common in the study area, causing health issues and in some cases fatalities. The intent of the current study is to gauge the farmers’ level of knowledge on the safe usage of pesticides and biosafety to keep the famers healthy through the focused extension programs.MethodologyThe study is carried out in 41 union councils of Tehsil Sahiwal, District Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan. Data are collected through a cluster sampling technique by conducting face-to-face interviews. Statistical analysis is used to determine relationships and interpret them.ResultsThe findings show that the majority of farmers (87.2%) earn their livelihoods from farming and 2.1% are traders. More than half of the respondents (51.8%) own small land-holdings with an area of 4–8 ha, with only 16.4% having a land area of more than 12 ha. The results also reveal that the majority of respondents obtain information from private agents and only about one third (34.4%) respondents get information on the safe usage of pesticides from the Department of Agriculture (Extension). The internet has emerged as a fast and reliable source of information in the new paradigm; however, only 14.4% of the respondents take advantage of this economical and fast information tool/medium. The findings also reveal that the farmers employ unhealthy and poor practices by not following the recommendations regarding the safe usage of pesticides. The study also reveals that more than half of the farmers (54.4%) use unsafe storage practices on their farms, and about 48.2% do not follow the instructions.ConclusionsInappropriate application of pesticides can have negative effects on human health and the adoption safety measures are necessary to avoid the harmful effects of pesticides. Due to high illiteracy in the area, farmers mainly seek advice of neighboring farmers, having ignorance on the biosafety issues. Variables like education level, land ownership, total land size and the trainings on safe pesticide usage significantly influence the knowledge level of farmers on the safe usage of pesticides.RecommendationsFarmers do not follow the recommendations of the extension department or the instructions printed on pesticide bottles/containers, therefore educational (formal and informal) and training programs are necessary on the safe pesticide usage to upgrade their skills and expertise on safe usage of pesticides and the importance of biosafety.
Amino acid residues 111–129 represent an immunodominant epitope of myelin basic protein (MBP) in humans with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1*0401 allele(s). The MBP 111–129–specific T cell clone MS2-3C8 was repeatedly isolated from a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS), suggesting an involvement of MS2-3C8 T cells in the pathogenesis. To address the pathogenic potential of the MS2-3C8 T cell clone, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing its T cell receptor and restriction element, HLA-DRB1*0401, to examine the pathogenic characteristics of MS2-3C8 Tg T cells by adoptive transfer into HLA-DRB1*0401 Tg mice. In addition to the ascending paralysis typical of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, mice displayed dysphagia due to restriction in jaw and tongue movements and abnormal gait. In accordance with the clinical phenotype, infiltrates of MS2-3C8 Tg T cells and inflammatory lesions were predominantly located in the brainstem and the cranial nerve roots in addition to the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. Together, these data suggest a pathogenic role of MBP-specific T cells in inflammatory demyelination within the brainstem and cranial nerve roots during the progression of MS. This notion may help to explain the clinical and pathological heterogeneity of MS.
IntroductionMultiple estimates suggest the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) may have one of the highest rates of wasted food globally. The KSA has limited arable lands and scarce water and thus relies on extensive imports and food subsidies to meet food demand. Accordingly, waste and loss of food are a significant concern for food security.Materials and methodsA narrative literature review was performed to identify the available information relevant to characterizing the context, magnitude of food wasted in the KSA, key contributing factors, and existing interventions and recommendations.ResultsEstimates of annual per capita waste of food ranged from 165 kg to 511 kg. Given the country's relatively limited agricultural production, the consumer and retail levels are primary targets for intervention. Key contributors to waste include culture, food valuation, policy and industry factors, and awareness and concern. The country is at an early stage of developing responses. We build upon existing approaches and recommendations, with particular emphasis on the potential role of agricultural extension staff in addressing the issue, and highlight research needs.ConclusionsGiven the potentially exceptional levels of wasted food in the KSA and the extensive evidence gaps, there is a great need for further research and action. Our review and synthesis presents numerous opportunities to advance innovative waste reduction approaches in the country, with particular relevance for other parts of the Middle East and other areas early in their efforts to address waste of food.
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